The Importance of Research Before Introducing a Dog into Your Home
There are a number of benefits to owning a dog and their presence will light up your home each day. For families with children, introducing a dog to the home can teach your little ones many important responsibilities. Having a pet dog will make you more active, can be good for your mental health, and can make your family complete. However, being a dog owner is a huge responsibility and many people give up their pet due to a lack of knowledge and preparation. In order to avoid this, research is key, and today, we are going to learn the importance of research before introducing a dog into your home.
Different Dog Breeds
With so many different dog breeds out there, you will need to do your research into one that suits your home and family. For example, if you don’t have much space, then a large breed dog may not be a good option for you, or if you own small animals, then a hunting breed could put them at risk. Every dog has their own personality, but there will be traits of each breed that you need to research and understand, plus the cost, a responsible breeder, care, energy levels, trainability, etc. You will also need to research what health conditions the breed is subject to, which we will cover in our next point.
Potential Health Issues
Gaining a full understanding of the health issues the breed you want may be at risk of inheriting is crucial before buying a puppy. When purchasing a puppy, you will need to do thorough research into the breeder. If they are responsible, then they would have done the necessary health checks on the parents, so the pups have a good chance of leading a healthy life. Some breeds will be at higher risk of illness, like short-nosed (brachycephalic), pedigree, and large breeds. Unfortunately, we can’t control genetics, and you should take out pet insurance as soon as possible in case of an emergency.
Cost of Ownership
Dogs can be surprisingly expensive and there are many costs that dog owners haven’t considered before bringing a dog home. You should expect your dog to cost £4,500-£13,000 over their whole lifetime, but this is unpredictable and will vary according to the breed, size and lifespan of your pooch. You will need to take annual vaccinations, spaying/neutering and health checks into consideration, plus training classes, food, supplies, etc. If you need to or decide to spend more on their ongoing care, then you could spend up to £30,000 over their lifetime, so you must be financially stable to own a dog.
Age of Household
If you are prepared for all of the above, then the next step of research will be at home. The age of your household will play a huge part in whether or not you are ready to become a dog owner. If you have small children, then you will need to spend some time teaching them about how to treat and respect a dog. You can do this by using positive reinforcement and allowing your children to interact with family and friends’ dogs and dogs in the street (with the owner’s permission). If you have a young household, then you need to figure out if you will have the time to care for everyone, as well as a dog.
Breeder or Rescue
Once you have done your research and you are comfortable with all of the above, the next step will be finding your canine companion. Many people will go straight to breeder because they will have a puppy of a particular breed, however, you should never overlook a rescue. There are breed-specific rescues and puppies end up in shelters too. Crossbreeds tend to be healthier, older dogs are easier, and the rescue centre would have carried out a full health and behaviour evaluation on your potential pup. You will also save money, as your dog will be evaluated, vaccinated and neutered at a cheaper cost.
Prepare Your Home
Now you know that you have the funds, the time, and the right environment, and you have found your new furry friend, the next step is to prepare your home. You will need to do your research into the right products for the kind of dog you are getting and you should invest in some good quality food. One of the best ways to browse pet food and pet supplies is by using an online pet shop, like Time for Paws. Here, you can find everything you need to keep your dog happy and healthy for a great price. Finally, you should make your home dog-friendly by creating a space for your dog, installing gates, etc.
The main reason people end up giving their pet up to an animal shelter is that the owner wasn’t prepared for the cost and the hassle of training and care, plus the unpredictable behaviour and health issues they experience. This is why doing your research before bringing a dog home is so important.